Towards a promising future: Solomon Islands educators’ perspectives on the inclusion of arts and culture curriculum in schools
Martin, M. A. (2013). Towards a promising future: Solomon Islands educators’ perspectives on the inclusion of arts and culture curriculum in schools (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8468
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8468
In the Pacific Islands, ‘arts’ and ‘culture’ are not separate entities, since traditional Pacific cultures encode recollections of the past in song, dance, art and craft, naming and story-telling, all of which contribute to recording their histories. The encompassing nature of culture has drawn scholars to also recognise the role of education in transmitting culture. One’s view of the world and one’s place in it can be communicated to a young person through family, but also through arts education within schooling. When school curriculum only embodies a culture that is alien to the family culture of students, that curriculum may induce failure in its students. A concern about the cultural appropriateness and limited accessibility of school education in the Solomon Islands, has led to a process of major curriculum reform. One area currently in development is a proposed Arts and Culture Curriculum. This research invited five experienced Solomon Islands educators to take part in an interview process regarding their perceptions about the inclusion of an Arts and Culture Curriculum in Solomon Island schools. The findings revealed that a key reason for the inclusion of culture within an arts curriculum in the Solomon Islands was the desire for locally situated, locally appropriate curricula that would place high value on the preservation of cultural identities and heritage skills. Secondly, the inclusion of non-academic, practical and creative educational pathways was being established in order to provide balanced opportunities in Solomon Islands schools. Findings indicated challenges to be overcome in order to further develop and implement this Arts and Culture Curriculum currently in draft form. Proposed implementation has implications for resourcing, teacher training, and processes of community consultation in curriculum development.
University of Waikato
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